Science and empire [electronic resource] : East Coast fever in Rhodesia and Transvaal /
Paul F. Cranefield.
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
xvii, 385 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
More Details
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [290]-374) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-02:
Cranefield tells a fascinating story about tick-borne East Coast fever, which spread into Rhodesia and the Transvaal in 1901 and 1902, causing mass mortality among cattle. But confusion surrounded the disease. Many believed it to be merely a more virulent form of Texas or redwater fever, even though the symptoms were markedly different. So with much political shenanigans (the subject of a delicious chapter) a German expert was called in, at an astronomical cost, to clear up the mess. unfortunately, the expert, none other than Robert Koch, seemed to have caused much confusion and is thereby blamed for misleading those on the scene who were doing far sounder work. But although Cranefield writes with considerable verve, he includes far too much unnecessary detail and the story is dragged out excessively. In addition, the book is mistitled: it is a straightforward narrative about a confusing disease. That this disease occurred within part of the British Empire does not justify the claim that this book is about science and empire. Nevertheless, a good story for advanced undergraduates and up, as well as informed general readers.-J. Farley, Dalhousie University
Review Quotes
"Cranefield...has achieved a degree of clarity in his presentation of this story that should allow it to be readily understood by historians of the British Empire in Africa as well as by historians of medicine. Most laymen are unlikely to feel lost....Undoubtedly a highly reliable book, Science and Empire appears to have presented to its author an engrossing challenge to reconstruct past scientific reasoning and governance." Diana Wylie, International Journal of African Historical Studies
"...fascinating, well-written book....thoroughly grounded in research in relevant archives and the scientific literature. The author has many significant things to say about the process of scientific discovery, the role of intellectual authority, communications among researchers, and intellectual relationships between center and periphery. He also tells a very interesting and important story." K. David Patterson, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Science
" excellent means of assisting veterinarians and students of veterinary medicine in understanding the social and economic impact of animal diseases and how verterinary medicine is a key element in those aspects ... I found it fascinating and certainly gained insights into Koch's work that I did not learn as a studennt of bacteriology. Because the author wrote the book as a s tudy and a story, it makes great fireside or bedside reading." JVME
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 1992
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Description for Library
East Coast fever can kill 95% of a herd of cattle in three weeks. Unknown to western science or to veterinary practice, it appeared in Rhodesia in 1901 and moved through all of Rhodesia and South Africa in ten years, devastating the economy. This book describes the social and economic effects of the disease, which was not controlled fully for 50 years, and it describes the scientific studies that led to an understanding of the disease.
Main Description
East Coast fever is a lethal disease of cattle, caused by a parasite that multiplies within T-lymphocytes, causing them to become lymphoblasts that behave like cells in leukaemia and lymphoma. This is the story of the disease and its effects on farmers, as well as of the scientists who studied it. The disease was unknown to western science or to veterinary practice until it was introduced into Rhodesia in 1901. It devastated the cattle-raising and ox-cart dependent transport systems of Rhodesia and South Africa and was not fully brought under control for some 50 years. The book describes the social and economic impact of the outbreak, the scientific investigations into it, and the effort to control it. The scientific study of the disease was done in part by the famous bacteriologist Robert Koch, whose many early errors had a negative effect on later investigators whose work was far more sound.
Description for Bookstore
East Coast fever can kill 95% of a herd of cattle in three weeks. The disease was nknown to western science until it was introduced into Rhodesia in 1901. This book describes the social and economic impact, the scientific investigations into it, and the effort to control it.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
The places and the players
A new disease?
The search for an expert
Robert Koch in Bulawayo
Joseph Chamberlain
Arnold Theiler, Charles Lounsbury and Duncan Hutcheon
The fight against East Coast fever
The African-owned cattle in Rhodesia
Two more parasites and another new disease
What is East Coast fever?
Notes and references
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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